Host a Casual, Outdoor Cinco de Mayo Celebration

Celebrate Mexican culture on May 5 with a simple afternoon fiesta. Borrow these ideas for your own high-color, low-stress Cinco de Mayo party complete with a few of our favorite authentic Mexican recipes.

Everything In This Slideshow

  • Cinco de Mayo Fiesta

    On Cinco de Mayo, keep things colorful and casual at home with an afternoon of food, family, and fun. We give you tips for party presentation along with our best Mexican party recipes.

  • Cinco de Mayo Place Setting

    Keep your party table bright and fun with a creative place setting. Place a plain white plate atop a circular woven mat, and add a colorful charger on top of a burnt orange cloth napkin for a burst of color. Two green rhumba shakers make fun additions, as does a red, blue, and green striped placemat.

  • Sunflower Centerpieces

    Place single stems of bright sunflowers in old glass jars to set the mood for a Cinco de Mayo fiesta. Let the party begin!

  • Adults-Only Bar Table

    Set up a bar area with colorful decanters arranged on a bold tablecloth. For added ambiance, string outdoor party lights around the deck.

  • Sparkling Margaritas

    Try these sparkling margaritas at your Cinco de Mayo party -- the secret ingredient is a splash of champagne.

  • Tag Your Drink

    Make it easy for friends to remember which glass is theirs with monogrammed limes. Simply use a zester to initial a lime wedge for each guest's drink.

  • Tasty Appetizer Spread

    A Cinco de Mayo buffet is a simple way to keep with the party's casual tone. Offer guests an array of salsas and sauces to try. Arrange miniature tortillas on a colorful napkin next to the sauces for guests to use when sampling flavors. Use sturdy margarita glasses to serve homemade salsa or guacamole, or any suitable appetizer, salad, or soup that fits your Cinco de Mayo menu.

    Editor's Tip: Use gravy boats to hold salsa and sauces, and label hot sauces to warn guests which ones have a bite.

  • Chunky Guacamole

    Garlic, red onion, and plum tomatoes make up this coarsely mashed crowd-pleasing Mexican appetizer.

    Editor's Tip: If you're making the guacamole ahead of time, use plenty of lime juice and store covered in the fridge. The acidity in the lime juice will give it a zesty kick and keep it fresh; covering the guacamole with plastic wrap will keep out air -- which is what causes it to turn brown if not eaten immediately after preparation.

  • Tex-Mex Taco Dip

    Try this flavorful taco dip at your Cinco de Mayo celebration, made from layers of ground turkey breast, cheese, refried beans, avocados, green onions, and chopped tomatoes. Serve with scoop-shape tortilla chips.

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    Chorizo-Pepper Hand Pies

    Perfect as an appetizer for a large crowd (the recipe makes 24), these hand pies are made with chorizo sausage, sweet yellow pepper, tomato, and onion.

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    Grilled Vegetable Tostadas with Quick Mole Sauce

    For a dinner-focused Cinco de Mayo party, these tasty tostadas -- with zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, and avocado -- are the perfect make-it-yourself option. Lay out the corn tortillas and all the toppings (you'll just need to pre-grill the vegetables), and let guests put together their own.

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    Enchiladas with Fresh Mango Salsa

    These vegetarian enchiladas have a lot to offer: onion, garlic, and jalapeno peppers flavor tofu cubes with black beans, and the mixture is wrapped in tortillas with asadero cheese and mole sauce. For a fresh and fruity kick, top the enchiladas with mango salsa.

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    Fish Tacos with Cabbage and Chile Pepper Slaw

    These tacos are bursting with flavor from halibut, tomatillos, orange and lime peel; do the prep work ahead of time, then pop them in the oven for 10 minutes once your guests arrive.

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    Natural Decor

    Line your deck or porch railing with cacti in terra-cotta pots and lanterns or luminarias with brightly colored candles.

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    Cinco de Mayo Fiesta Favors

    An inexpensive cactus plant wrapped in tissue paper makes an easy, creative party favor. Tie a coordinating ribbon around the plant and tissue paper. Use the original plant stakes to attach tags printed with the word besos (Spanish for kisses).

  • Next Slideshow Our Best Brunch Recipes

    Our Best Brunch Recipes

    Whether you're planning a simple brunch for a small group or an Easter brunch to wow your crowd, we've got just the right brunch recipe ideas for you. Choose from sweet pancakes, savory breakfast sandwiches, hearty egg casseroles, and other simple brunch menu ideas.
    Begin Slideshow »

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